Congratulations Samantha Checkley!

Dear UR,

It is our distinct pleasure to announce the promotion of Samantha Checkley to Assistant Program Director (APD) reporting to Lori Tinkey, effective October 3, 2022. In her new role on the DC Leadership Team, Samantha will transition to partnerships with Senior Regional Directors (SRDs — Ryan Brennan and Jason Scarlett) and members of the Regional SRD Team as well as contribute to overarching Regional Development projects. Samantha joined Development last year following 6 years of ND campus experience in management and events. Samantha quickly excelled on the DC Team, in partnerships with 3 RDs, and in work within Gift Planning. We are grateful to benefit from her talents in strategic analytics, planning, and presentation. Congratulations, Samantha!

If you have any questions about Samantha’s transitional responsibilities or new role, please feel free to contact us.

Lori and Deena

Announcing our new NDAA Family Member – Kelly Woods

UR Team –

On Monday, October 3, we are welcoming a new member to the NDAA family.

Kelly Woods comes to the NDAA after earning a Master of Arts in Linguistics from BYU where she also worked as a Web Developer and a Graduate Research Assistant. She also completed her undergraduate work at BYU, earning a degree in Psychology – I guess that makes her a “Double Cougar”. Kelly brings a wealth of technical knowledge and an innate curiosity driven by her previous work in research areas.

Not only will she be new to the University, but Kelly is coming to us all the way from Oklahoma City. And, having spent years in Utah, she’s an avid fan of outdoor activities and is looking forward to exploring her new home. She’s also a huge sports fan, and assures us that outside of Saturday October 8, she will be cheering for the Irish.

Kelly will be joining the NDAA-IT team as our new Systems Specialist and putting her French speaking skills to good use as she focuses on all things myNotreDame, its ongoing development, and relationship with Hivebrite.

Please join me in welcoming Kelly to the NDAA!


Welcome Michelle McDaniel to the Marketing Operations team!

Please welcome Michelle McDaniel to the Marketing Operations, Annual Giving team as our Content Marketing Specialist. Her first day was this week, Monday, September 26.

Michelle was previously a Content Writer for RTA Outdoor Living and has 10+ years of multimedia journalism experience. She will be writing and producing fund and Giving Society digital communications as well as managing digital executions such as email creation and deployment for the Annual Giving team.

Michelle comes to us from the Dallas, Texas area. Please join me in giving her a big, warm, South Bend welcome!

Lauren Dolzan

Thank you and Farewell to Kilian Vidourek

University Relations Team – With an incredible amount of gratitude for his videography and design services, I’m writing to you today to share the news that Kilian Vidourek will be leaving the Storytelling & Engagement Team. Over the past year, Kilian has dazzled us with his keen camera skills, his efficiency to turn around projects incredibly quickly, and his ability to rock a pair of pants that show off his ankles.

The Georgia native, known in local DJ circles as “DOGSNAKE”, has accepted a position at 2K Games in California as a Video Editor, where he will be responsible for making video game trailers and marketing materials. He is grateful that his current position has taught him the skills necessary to take this next step in his professional career out on the West Coast as a videographer and storyteller. In Kilian’s words, “I am going to miss all of the wonderfully unique people I have had the chance to know and work with as well as the culture of family here that made me feel like I belong. Thank you everyone!”

Kilian’s last day in office will be Friday, September 30. Please join me in echoing his common sentiment of “What’s poppin’?” and say farewell to our incredible colleague.

Jim Gosz

Farewell and Thank You to Chris Palmquist

UR team –

With deep regret but also immense gratitude, please join me in wishing Chris Palmquist farewell as he embarks on a new career in Minneapolis, MN. Chris and his wonderful wife Dagny are returning to the Twin Cities where they lived before Chris joined the NDAA family in 2019.

Those who have worked with him know Chris as a person of high character who could be relied on to deliver on every project, contribute a witty Q&A at Football Fridays, and manage the MarCom department through the personnel changes of 2021 while leading by example for the new employees who joined the team. Since I came on board before Christmas, he has been an invaluable resource and steady hand. He will be terribly missed.

Chris’ last day will be September 23, 2022. As we determine how to best move forward, I will run point on the takeover and transition of his duties before a new hire comes on board.

Thank you Chris!


Best Wishes, Gratitude, and Congratulations to Erin Thornton


Some emails are harder to write than others. This is one of those emails. I’m writing to you today to share the news that our dear friend and trusted colleague Erin Thornton has been offered an amazing opportunity to advance her career at Notre Dame. Erin has been hired to join Anne Griffith’s team as the new Advisor to the Vice President of University Enterprises and Events. As Advisor, Erin will provide advice and insight to Anne on all aspects of UEE’s strategic operations and will manage special projects including the division’s strategic planning process. Additionally, Erin will serve as a liaison to various academic and administrative units, manage strategic University relationships, and lead the division’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Since she arrived at the NDAA from Disney Cruise Lines in 2013, Erin has made a huge impact on countless alumni and friends through her outstanding leadership of our special events. More than that, however, Erin’s care for her colleagues, and quick wit have made our office community a better place. While we are all happy for Erin, Mark, Declan, and Beatrice, it will be bittersweet to not work side by side with Erin in the future.

Erin’s last day at the NDAA will be Oct. 26 and she will begin her new role at UEE on Oct. 31.

More details to come on Erin’s going away party but for now, please join me in congratulating Erin!



Emma Capannari to join Stewardship & Donor Relations – Congratulations!

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us in welcoming Emma Capannari to her new role of Assistant Director, Donor Relations Strategies on the Stewardship & Donor Relations team!

Emma’s Notre Dame story began in 2018 when she joined the DC Team directly after her college graduation. The broader Regional Development team benefited immediately from her Communications and Journalism education and experience, and she soon demonstrated a true talent for strategy and project management. When the Assistant Program Director position was created in the DC Team in 2021, Emma was promoted to the role. Emma has been an excellent partner in working directly with SRD leadership, partnering with RDs, identifying value-add opportunities for the DC Team, and collaborating with me on large-scale projects. In addition, she played a considerable role in optimizing the Chicago office operations, maintaining “dual citizenship” in Chicago and Eddy Street to meet the business needs of all colleagues. Well done, Emma! It has been a pleasure to work with her and she will be missed throughout the team.

In her new role, Emma will partner closely with a portfolio of regional directors to identify and share best practices in stewardship and develop individualized stewardship plans for some of the University’s top benefactors. She will also help to fulfill these plans by designing and executing meaningful communications, recognition pieces, and other personalized touches for key donors. A graduate of Indiana University, Emma brings a wealth of knowledge to the team from her years in Regional Development Administration, and the Stewardship & Donor Relations team is thrilled to welcome her aboard! She will transition to her new role on Monday, October 3.

Congratulations, Emma!

Lori Tinkey and Mary Fisher

Fall Learning Opportunities Across Campus

A wide range of fall learning programs were recently added to Endeavor and published on the Human Resources website. Search by category and register for upcoming learning sessions.

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Farewell and Best Wishes to Kevin McMannis

With gratitude for over four years of dedication, we say farewell to Kevin McMannis as he departs from his role as Senior Consultant in Prospect Development & Strategy. Kevin’s next step is a fantastic opportunity leading prospect management efforts at St. Ignatius School. Through the challenges of COVID and integration of new leadership, Kevin provided a continuity of knowledge and experience that will serve our team well into the future. His work on our prospecting and annual planning processes, in particular, have set the Prospect Management team up for success in our goal of delivering more timely, consistent insight and deliverables to the regions.

Kevin will be wrapping up his responsibilities over the next few days as he prepares to transition to his new role. Cindy Karpovs has graciously agreed to assume consultant responsibilities for the Illinois region, so please contact her or me with any questions related to Kevin’s work.

As you may know, we are growing our team and have a posting for a new consultant. With Kevin’s departure, we now have a second consultant opportunity. We are grateful for any referrals you might be able to provide in helping us fill two important roles on our team.

Jonathan Retartha

Welcome to the East Coast Team, Jordy Shoemaker!

It is my honor and pleasure to welcome our newest Regional Director, Georgiana “Jordy” Shoemaker, to the East Coast.

Jordy comes to us from Boston Medical Center where she served as an ICU Nurse for the last 7 years. Jordy earned her degree from the College of Arts and Letters(Psychology). She was a 3X monogram winner and a 3X Big East All Academic recipient as apart of the Irish Women’s Lacrosse team. Jordy is beyond excited to come home and serve Our Lady’s Mission!!

Please join me in welcoming Jordy to our team!